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A Widow's Story

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A Widow's Story Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In a work unlike anything she's written before, National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates unveils a poignant, intimate memoir about the unexpected death of her husband of forty-six years and its wrenching, surprising aftermath.

"My husband died, my life collapsed."

On a February morning in 2008, Joyce Carol Oates drove her ailing husband, Raymond Smith, to the emergency room of the Princeton Medical Center where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. Both Joyce and Ray expected him to be released in a day or two. But in less than a week, even as Joyce was preparing for his discharge, Ray died from a virulent hospital-acquired infection, and Joyce was suddenly faced—totally unprepared—with the stunning reality of widowhood.

A Widow's Story illuminates one woman's struggle to comprehend a life without the partnership that had sustained and defined her for nearly half a century. As never before, Joyce Carol Oates shares the derangement of denial, the anguish of loss, the disorientation of the survivor amid a nightmare of "death-duties," and the solace of friendship. She writes unflinchingly of the experience of grief—the almost unbearable suspense of the hospital vigil, the treacherous "pools" of memory that surround us, the vocabulary of illness, the absurdities of commercialized forms of mourning. Here is a frank acknowledgment of the widow's desperation—only gradually yielding to the recognition that "this is my life now."

Enlivened by the piercing vision, acute perception, and mordant humor that are the hallmarks of the work of Joyce Carol Oates, this moving tale of life and death, love and grief, offers a candid, never-before-glimpsed view of the acclaimed author and fiercely private woman.

Synopsis:

Unlike anything Joyce Carol Oates has written before, A Widows Story is the universally acclaimed authors poignant, intimate memoir about the unexpected death of Raymond Smith, her husband of forty-six years, and its wrenching, surprising aftermath. A recent recipient of National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, Oates, whose novels (Blonde, The Gravediggers Daughter, Little Bird of Heaven, etc.) rank among the very finest in contemporary American fiction, offers an achingly personal story of love and loss. A Widows Story is a literary memoir on a par with The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion and Calvin Trillins About Alice.

Synopsis:

Critics across the country have raved about Joyce Carol Oatess ground-breaking memoir A Widows Story, lauding its blazing honesty and raw emotion, calling it “immensely moving,” “searing,” “enthralling,” “brave,” “slyly mordant,” and “astonishingly candid.”

On a February morning in 2008, Joyce Carol Oates drove her ailing husband, Raymond Smith, to the emergency room of the Princeton Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. In less than a week, Ray died from a hospital-acquired virulent infection—and Joyce was suddenly faced with the stunning reality of widowhood.

A Widows Story illuminates one womans struggle to comprehend a life absent of the partnership that had sustained and defined her for nearly half a century. As never before, Joyce Carol Oates shares the derangement of denial, the anguish of loss, the disorientation of the survivor amid a nightmare of “death duties,” and the solace of friendship. Here is a frank acknowledgment of the widows desperation—only gradually yielding to the recognition that “this is my life now.”

Enlivened by the piercing vision, acute perception, and mordant humor that are the hallmarks of the work of Joyce Carol Oates, this moving tale of life and death, love and grief, offers a candid, never-before-glimpsed view of this acclaimed author and fiercely private woman.

About the Author

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including We Were the Mulvaneys; Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award; and the New York Times bestseller The Accursed. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780062020505
Subtitle:
A Memoir
Author:
Oates, Joyce Carol
Publisher:
Ecco
Subject:
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20120207
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8 x 5.3125 x 0.972973 in 10.4 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Biography » Women
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Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Grief

A Widow's Story Used Trade Paper
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Product details 432 pages Ecco Press - English 9780062020505 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Unlike anything Joyce Carol Oates has written before, A Widows Story is the universally acclaimed authors poignant, intimate memoir about the unexpected death of Raymond Smith, her husband of forty-six years, and its wrenching, surprising aftermath. A recent recipient of National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, Oates, whose novels (Blonde, The Gravediggers Daughter, Little Bird of Heaven, etc.) rank among the very finest in contemporary American fiction, offers an achingly personal story of love and loss. A Widows Story is a literary memoir on a par with The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion and Calvin Trillins About Alice.
"Synopsis" by , Critics across the country have raved about Joyce Carol Oatess ground-breaking memoir A Widows Story, lauding its blazing honesty and raw emotion, calling it “immensely moving,” “searing,” “enthralling,” “brave,” “slyly mordant,” and “astonishingly candid.”

On a February morning in 2008, Joyce Carol Oates drove her ailing husband, Raymond Smith, to the emergency room of the Princeton Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. In less than a week, Ray died from a hospital-acquired virulent infection—and Joyce was suddenly faced with the stunning reality of widowhood.

A Widows Story illuminates one womans struggle to comprehend a life absent of the partnership that had sustained and defined her for nearly half a century. As never before, Joyce Carol Oates shares the derangement of denial, the anguish of loss, the disorientation of the survivor amid a nightmare of “death duties,” and the solace of friendship. Here is a frank acknowledgment of the widows desperation—only gradually yielding to the recognition that “this is my life now.”

Enlivened by the piercing vision, acute perception, and mordant humor that are the hallmarks of the work of Joyce Carol Oates, this moving tale of life and death, love and grief, offers a candid, never-before-glimpsed view of this acclaimed author and fiercely private woman.

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